• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

Some consumers have been left wondering whether finding an affordable life insurance policy means you have to ignore public safety guidelines.

But the pandemic has caused a proliferation of the availability of no-exam life insurance, which you can get without ever having to leave your home, meaning you don’t have to choose between protecting your family’s future and your own health.

How has the pandemic changed life insurance?

Young woman using laptop in living room
fizkes / Shutterstock

No-exam life insurance has been around for a long time. Until recently, it was the only option for high-risk individuals living with medical conditions or working dangerous jobs that make it hard to lock in life insurance.

But when the pandemic hit, having to travel to do a medical exam became more than an annoyance — it suddenly wasn’t safe.

In response, more than a third of life insurers have now expanded their offerings of accelerated underwriting during the pandemic, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries.

With no-exam life insurance, you can skip the medical exam with its blood draws, urine tests and uncomfortable questions. You’ll simply fill out an application, and within minutes you’ll see the option you qualify for — and be able to immediately secure the coverage your family needs.

Stop overpaying for home insurance

Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.

Explore better rates

How does the process usually work?

Woman in glasses facing older couple, explaining something
sebra / Shutterstock

Medical exams have long been an important part of the underwriting process for life insurance.

Each insurer has its own underwriting process, but generally after you submit an application, you’ll have to do a phone interview with an underwriter, take a medical exam and then allow the insurer to check whether you’ve applied for other life insurance policies and look into your prescription drug and driving history over the last few years. From there, an adviser will go through all the information to come up with a life expectancy and based on that, give you a quote.

This whole process can take up to two months.

How are some insurers adapting?

Businessman Working Dashboard Strategy Research Concept
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

While insurers are aware consumers want the process to be easier, they also can’t just assign rates without some underwriting.

They first need to make sure they’re not overpromising because underdelivering in this situation would mean being unable to pay out claims as they come in — which could be disastrous.

And in some states, they also need to be able to legally justify their reasoning for coming up with rates in case an applicant ever contests their offers.

So getting rid of underwriting isn’t realistic. But over the last few years, some insurers have been using data and analytics to speed up and streamline the process.

At this point, there’s more than enough data out there on most categories of life insurance applicants to accurately calculate a fair premium without having to subject the person to a medical exam.

Some carriers can now even show you what quotes you’ll qualify for within minutes of submitting your application.

Find a financial adviser in minutes

Are you confident in your retirement savings? Get advice on your investment portfolio from a certified professional through WiserAdvisor. It only takes 5 minutes to connect with an adviser who puts you first.

Get Started

What this means for you

Happy family sitting on a couch, looking at laptop and phone
fizkes / Shutterstock

Insurers like Bestow can now take the information you provide through your application and run it through an algorithm that assesses your risk.

If you’ve been holding off on buying life insurance because you can’t safely leave your home or you think it’s going to cost an arm and a leg to opt out of a medical exam, you now have options.

Bestow offers policies in a full range of terms — 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years — with coverage running from $50,000 to $1.5 million. And policies start as low as $16 a month.

If you qualify, you’ll get coverage right away — without ever having to talk to anyone on the phone or taking a medical exam. Meaning, at a time when it feels like so many choices have been limited for us, you won’t have to choose between security and safety.

And most importantly, you’ll know that your family will have the financial security and safety they need should anything happen to you.

More: Best life insurance companies


Unexpected vet bills don’t have to break the bank

Life with pets is unpredictable, but there are ways to prepare for the unexpected.

Embrace Pet Insurance offers coverage for treatment of accidents, illnesses, prescriptions drugs, emergency care and more.

Plus, their optional wellness plan covers things like routine vet trips, grooming and training costs, if you want to give your pet the all-star treatment while you protect your bank account.

Sigrid Forberg Associate Editor

Sigrid’s is Moneywise.com's associate editor, and she has also worked as a reporter and staff writer on the Moneywise team.


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.